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Company, who died in 1734, and his four wives; for Sir Edward Brett, knt. a distinguished soldier and royalist in the time of the Civil Wars, who died in February, 1683; and for Sir Richard Ford, lord mayor of London in 16*71.
Among the seats in this parish, the principal is Dansok Hill, lately the seat of Sir John Boyd, bart. It was originally the property of archbishop Parker, and, alter various owners, came into the possession of John Boyd, Esq. merchant of London, who erected the present mansion, from designs of the late Sir Robert Taylor, though departed from in the course of building. The principal floor contains large and elegant apartments; and the grounds are laid out in a masterly manner by Capability Brown, who also formed a fine sheet of water at a small distance from the house, which is at once striking and beautiful. Mr. Boyd was created a baronet in 1775, and his grandson, the present baronet, has recently disposed of the estate and mansion to John Johnston, Fsq. for the sum of 50,000/.
Crayford, the Crecanford, of the Saxons, is a small town, and was so denominated from its being the principal' place of passage through the Cray, a river which gives its name also to four other parishes. It rises at Newel, in' Orpington, from whence it takes its course by St. Mary Cray, St. Paul's Cray, Foot's Cray, North Cray, Bexley, and Crayford; and a little below this town it meets the river Darent. Lambard remarks, that " upon the Cray was lately built a mill for the making of plates whereof armour is fashioned:" this was probably the same with the mill now used for slitting and flatting iron to make hoops, &c. In the river there is a great abundance of fine trout of an excellent quality. The Cray runs into Dartford Creek, which empties itself into the Thames. The Middle River is supplied with water from the Cray by means of holes bored through large oak planks, which are placed at different parts for that purpose. This water, after a passage through the marshes, discharges itself into Vol. V. No. 108. U the the creek before-mentioned; another small river nrn^ through the town, has its source in the parish of Bexley, and empties itself into Dartford Creek.
The church, dedicated to St. Paulinus, contains many monuments for respectable families; among others is an obelisk of black marble, under a white marble canopy, in commemoration of Dame Elizabeth Shovel, relict of Sir Cloudesly Shovel, the severity of whose loss, in the shipwreck of her husband, and two only sons, (whom she had borne to admiral Sir John Narborough,) is detailed in a long inscription; and on a second tablet, at the base of the monument, are recorded the alliances of her children. She died April H32. Near the above is another handsome mural monument, in commemoration of the honourable Robert Mavsel, eldest son and Ireir of Thomas, lord Mansel, of the antient and noble family of the Manscls, of Normandy, removed into England in the time »f William the Conqueror, (and) established in .Wales in the reign of Henry the First, where they have flourished ever since, in great splendour and dignity; first, at Oxwich Castle; then at Margam, in the county of Glamorgan. He marriedAnne, one of the daughters and co-heirs of Sir Cioudesly Shovel; and died in May, 1123. Sir Cloudesly gave the altar-piece.
The burial ground and parsonage house are pleasantly situated on an eminence. The living is supposed to be worth 500/. per annum.
Several antiquaries have imagined the Roman station called Noviomacus, to have been situated very near the town of Crayford. This place is also famous for a great battle fought here, in 457, between Hengist the Saxon, and Vortimer the British king, in winch the latter lost four thousand men, and four of their chief commanders. The route was so general and decisive, that the}- left Hengist from that time in quiet possession of his Kentish kingdom. In the open heath, near Crayford, as also in the woods and enclosures in most of the adjoining parishes, are divers artificial
tificial caves or hales in the earth, whereof some, according to Lambard, are ten, fifteen, and twenty, fathom deep j the passage is narrow at the top, but wide and large at the bottom, with several rooms or partitions in some of them, and all strongly vaulted, and supported by pillars of chalk. Many learned writers have supposed, that these Merc dug by Out British ancestors, to he used as receptacles for their goods, and as places of retreat and security for their families, in times of civil dissentions or foreign invasions. But the much more probable opinion is, that far the greater number of them were opened, in order to procure chalk for building, and for the amendment of lands.
In the twentieth year of the reign of Richard II. William Courtenay, archbishop of Canterbury, obtained from that king, the grant of a market to this place on Tuesday m every week; but this privilege has been long discontinued.
About half a mile from Crayford church is May Place,: built about the reign of James I. a seat still venerable, but which has sustained an injury from an attempt made to give a modern appearance to some part of the building. Sir Cloudsley Shovel was once the owner of this mansion, and of other considerable possessions in this parish.
Dartford. The distance between Crayford and Darr> ford is two miles, and some part of the road being upon an eminence, exhibits a distinct view of the magazine at Purfleet. Near the summit of Dartford Hill, on the south side of the road, is a wide lane, called Shepherd's Lane, lead- . ing to Dartford Heath, supposed to be the largest tract of hind in Kent, so denominated. On the south-west extremity of the heath, runs the road to Bexley, the Crays,, Chislehurst, and Bromley, ten miles distant from Dartford.
If the subdivision of counties into hundreds owes its origin to king Alfred, (and to that illustrious monarch our historians have, with reason, attributed this useful and political plan) Daktford has been a place of eminence, since it gives name to the hundred. The town is named from
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